Gentle Bamboo Solutions

The shady watch seller at Mumbai


At a local railway station in Mumbai, a shady looking guy approached me and whispered, "Wanna buy a Rolex watch? Original and super cheap."

I asked, "OK. How much?

"Hush," whispered the guy even softer than before. "See that guy there? He is still wearing the watch. If you confirm that you want to buy it, then I’ll go steal it." 😂

Obviously, this story is fake. You can tell because –

1. I’d never buy a fake or stolen watch 🤷‍♂️

2. I’ve never been to Mumbai 😜

3. I could never muster enough courage to use the Mumbai Local 🙈

This is clearly a joke I heard and liked a lot growing up. But, now, I begrudgingly appreciate the "thief". There are lots of things we can learn from him. The biggest lesson is about Customer Development.

Always ensure that you have a paying client (or three) before immersing yourself into some difficult work. 90% ventures fail because people fail to ask potential clients if they’re even willing to pay for the thing that will take weeks or months of effort.

Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. If there is financial motive behind the work you’re doing, be willing to spend time before doing the work to ensure hat someone is interested in that work enough to pay for it. Ensure this before doing the work – not after doing it.

There’s no shortage of literature on the topic of Customer Development. While it isn’t an exact science (yet), it is very close to it.

Read up and/or watch some videos on Customer Development. You’ do much better in many aspects of your career when you apply the principles you’ll learn.

Developing customers,